This chapter discusses the consciousness of most animals as posited by the Animals Thesis. The reconciliation of this thesis with the HOT and Conceptualism Theses is the main focus, especially considering that the Animals Thesis, like the Infants Thesis, is a widely held view. Some argue, however, that animals do not possess the faculties that allow them to have concepts—or, in the case of the HOT theory, sophisticated concepts which are required by the HOT theory. An exchange with Peter Carruthers, who accepts the conclusion that HOT theory entails that most animals are not conscious, is also illustrated and criticized. Many animals, in fact, have the capacity to possess mental concepts and self-concepts as demonstrated by “Lloyd Morgan’s Canon,” which posits that attributing conscious mental states to animals is ultimately the more prudent hypothesis.
MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.